Archive for August, 2010

Our Beautiful Mountain

August 28, 2010

We live in a truly beautiful place!  I see this pretty classic view of Mount Roland about once a week and I actually had the camera with me the other day so just had to stop to take a picture to share.

We just live on the foothills of the other side of Mt Roland.  We have had a little snow on the top of the mountain off and on for the last two weeks so I took some photos from our side too this week.

We do not have the rugged cliffs on our side so it is not quite so striking, but it is big and long.

This is looking at the mountain from up our road a little way.  It is a lovely sight to come home to.  Our place is the long line of trees at the edge of the lovely green pasture.  You can’t really see the mountain when you get under all those trees.  🙂

And this is a bit closer to home.  Our property is all those dark trees you can see behind the neighbours house.  Can you see the snow up the top?

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Snow at last

August 20, 2010

Well, there has been plenty of rain over the last few days here in Northern Tassie.  The ground water is rising and our sink hole come lake is filling up.  We even have snow on Mt Roland today, and it has been a blustery and cold day so I feel much more inclined to do some writing on the computer in our nice warm lounge room near our crackling wood fire than I might do if the weather was more conducive to being outside.  Looking back I see that I have not written since the end of June, so surely I must have something to talk about.

I’ll get the boring health information done with first.  Kim has picked up a little, he can manage an hour or two of productive time each day at the moment, which is much better than spending most of his time in bed!  The older boys continue to have health problems, which is rather frustrating for them.  Lydia is doing well, health wise, but has been unable to find any permanent work. We are looking forward to the warmer weather when hopefully she can pick up some hours with the honey farm again.  Not many bees out and about at the moment though!  Josiah’s is well.  His news is that he now has a bike with gears ($10 from the tip shop). He loves it and is easily persuaded to go for a ride down the track or the road.  I am mostly fine, although we all had a stomach wog work it’s way through us just recently which helped me to empathise more with the problems the boys face on a regular basis.

We have finally got all of Kim’s dad’s tools and bits and pieces over here, thanks to lots of help from my own dad.  Thanks Dad!  All the boxes fitted on the back of the old ute and it was fun opening them and exploring what was there.  We have already made good use of a number of the items and wonder how we ever did without some of it.  Everything has taken up temporary residence in my greenhouse since it was the only waterproof space large enough to hold it all.  Hopefully I can have the greenhouse back again one day.  🙂

All our new season’s turkeys have been processed or sold now.  In fact we only have one more in the freezer left to eat.  One lucky gobbler was traded for a leg of lamb to a nice old fellow in town.  That particular turkey can look forward to living out his life wandering over a couple of hundred acres of prime farm land with a half dozen hens.  We have sold all our most recent litter of piglets too.  The last two are being collected tomorrow then taken straight to the abattoir to be prepared for roasting on the spit at a cost of $15 each.  Poor little tykes, but they have enjoyed a good life here, galloping around their paddock every day and rooting up any missed spuds from last season’s potato plot.  The next sow is due to farrow soon.  We have some older pigs that we really must turn into meat soon.  The boys did manage to process a couple of pigs for us back in June but I think we may have to give up on waiting for them to be well enough to do more, and book some into the local abattoir instead.  I want more meat in the freezer instead of in the paddock!

We have also made plans for raised garden beds which incorporates new moveable houses for Lydia’s chooks.  We are nowhere near building them yet, but it is nice to have plans.  🙂  We also have an area now allocated to fruit trees and hope to get a few planted out before the warm weather comes.  Quite accidentally I actually managed to kill a couple of Lyd’s chooks by throwing some left over curing salt into the scrap bucket.  Turns out salt is poisonous to chooks, and we learnt that the hard way!  Still, Lydia does have another 60 to keep her busy.

We were greatly saddened when an elderly gentleman from church passed away last month.  He had been suffering from cancer for the last year so it was not unexpected, and we are glad he is no longer suffering, but we still are so sorry he has gone.  It is a great comfort to know that he was a faithful believer in our Lord Jesus for many many years and we know he is now with his saviour, but we do miss him.  He was so welcoming to our family when we arrived and made us feel so accepted that it is hard to think that he is no longer here.  We cleaned up the church in preparation for the funeral which filled the church to overflowing. We also catered for nibbles etc for after the service, although in typical country style many people brought food to share and we had an abundance.  Our little church seems to be suffering a lot of grief lately with the step daughter of another of our church family passing away last week.  Again it was expected, but it is still hard to say goodbye to loved ones.  That makes 3 deaths this year, and with the 2 families leaving as well we are left feeling a bit “down” at times.  However we know that God has all things in his hands and we trust Him to do what is best.

Early this month we had a lovely visit from 3 young men from WA.  Jud and Mitchell, friends of Caleb and Sam, came to stay for just over a week.  They brought with them a friend of their own named Sujan.  We enjoyed the time they spent with us, sleeping on the floor up in the “manor” and visiting a number of tourist spots.  They were particularly keen to see snow though unfortunately it has not been a very good year for snow here (at least until today!).  However they went up to the Great Lake in the Central Highlands, saw a good frost here one morning, got snowed on lightly at Cradle Mountain, visited St Helens on the east coast and made their way up onto Ben Lomond where they could have a good snowball fight and make a snowman, although there was not enough snow covering to go tobogganing or skiing.  We  also went with them to Tasmazia, a place not too far from here with 8 mazes that we had been looking for an excuse to visit ourselves.  It was nice to have some fresh faces around and to be encouraged by their participation in our tiny church fellowship.  Our boys really enjoyed catching up with their mates too, even though they were still limited by their health.

Our “off grid” plans are proceeding.  We are currently investigating micro hydro systems in addition to solar panels.  In the meantime we have turned our water bed into a gel bed.  The gel is more insulative so instead of having the big heater under the water mattress on all the time, we just have an electric blanket on top when we need it.  That should save us around $400 in electricity a year and means that we will not need to produce as much electricity from our off grid system.  We have also worked out where the batteries and inverter are going, and have build a little deck out the front of the shack for them to stand on.  The extra space of the deck is actually a lovely spot to sit in the sun too.  The slow combustion stove is inside now thanks to our visitors who helped to move it for us, and it is all pretty much put back together and sealed up after lots of work, primarily by Kim.  The next job is to put the flue up outside, then there is the water tank to mount and all the water pipes to run.  Always more to do.  We have also ordered some LED lights to try out and are most excited to see what they are like.

Well, that is about it for now.  Take care all.